Daily Archives: September 29, 2009

MORTON’S LAW

 Jelly“Jazz music is to be played sweet.  Soft, plenty rhythm.  When you have your plenty rhythm with your plenty swing it becomes beautiful.” 

I was thinking about Jelly Roll Morton’s famous comment while listening to some new compact discs by well-known improvisers.  I would like every improvising musician to commit Morton’s Law to memory, and these codicils as well:

Loud is only good if you also know how to play softly.  Imitate Jo Jones. 

“As fast as you can” is only permitted to those players who can play music at a stately pace — and not just the opening two choruses of a ballad that is then abruptly changed into double-time.  Internalize Ben Webster and Bobby Hackett.

It takes a good deal of courage to be concise.  Are all those notes necessary?  Study Jimmy Rowles.

The spaces between phrases are as important as the phrases themselves.  Consider Count Basie. 

A solo should be more than a string of glittering phrases, or a series of Special Effects.  A beautiful melody, played with the proper emotion, might be more satisfying than the most ornate elaborations on it.  Recall Benny Morton.

If the crowd applauds a performance, do they know why?  And should they have done so?  Ask Henry “Red” Thoreau.

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LOOK WHO’S IN TOWN!

Dan Barrett, trombonist, cornetist, bandleader, arranger, composer, singer, musical sparkplug (and one-third of “A Wondrous Trio” on this blog) — is coming to New York and New Jersey for a too-brief season of gigs and recording.  Here, verified and straight from the source, is his itinerary, minute-by-minute. 

Tuesday, 13 Oct 2009:  Dan arrives EWR at 3:59pm. (Dan will probably go down to Arturo’s and see pianist Harry Whittaker and bassist Pat O’Leary).

Wednesday, 14 Oct: Dan @ Ocean City Library, Toms River with Danny Tobias, Joel Forbes, Ehud Asherie, et. al

Thursday, 15 Oct: Dan @ Small’s 7:30-9pm w/Ehud Asherie, others (Dan will dash over to Sofia’s in the Edison Hotel, to hear Rossano Sportiello after Dan finishes at Small’s. Rossano plays until 11pm).

Friday, 16 Oct: Dan @ Roth’s Westside Steakhouse 7-10pm w/ Ehud, others

Saturday, 17 Oct: Dan has a free night… 

Sunday, 18 Oct: Dan @ Ear Inn 8-11pm w/ Jon-Erik Kellso, others…

Monday, 19 Oct: Dan @ Bickford Theater, Morristown, w/ Danny Tobias, Ehud, Joel Forbes, and Kevin Dorn.

Tuesday, 20 Oct: Dan, Rebecca Kilgore, Eddie Erickson, Jake Hanna, Warren Vache, Scott Robinson, Dan Block, Ron Hockett, others @ NOLA Studios; (John Sheridan’s “Dream Band” recording for Arbors Records).   

Tuesday, 20 Oct: Dan @ Little Branch 10:30-12:30pm w/ Ehud (after Arbors recording)

Wednesday, 21 Oct: more recording at NOLA as above (Dan is free in the evening after the recording session)

Thursday, 22 Oct: Dan leaves EWR at 12 Noon

Here are details for the Ocean County Library (Toms River) and Bickford Theatre concerts: 

The Bickford Theatre/Morris Museum: On Columbia Turnpike/Road (County Road 510) at the corner of Normandy Heights Road, east of downtown Morristown. Near Interstate 287 and the Route 24 expressway. This is a 300-seat hall with generous parking on site. Wheelchair access. Weeknight concerts are one long set (8 to 9:30 PM). Tickets are generally $15 in advance, but $18 at the door. Tickets may be purchased via credit card over the phone by calling the box office at (973) 971-3706. The box office can also provide information, directions or a simple “jazz map.”

Ocean County College: Midweek Jazz concerts are held on Wednesday evenings (normally at their comfortable Fine Arts Center). Concerts begin at 8 PM and run as one extended set until about 9:30 PM. Tickets are $13 in advance, but $15 at the door. Call their Box Office at (732) 255-0500 for information, credit card purchases (no fee) or driving directions, which are also available from their web site: www.ocean.edu.  In recent months, MidWeek Jazz has moved to a temporary home at the Ocean County Library in Toms River while their building is renovated. The OCC Box Office will continue to sell the tickets, and has easy driving instructions to the Library, just 4 miles from the OCC campus and less than a mile from Parkway exit 81, either direction. The Library’s street address is 101 Washington Street, 08753 if you are using a navigator, but the Library itself does not sell the concert tickets. 

(Email Don Robertson at Jazzevents@aol.com to get on his email list for regular jazz updates.)